Three Valley city halls and the state Capitol will host National Day of Prayer events Thursday despite a recent federal-court decision in Wisconsin that declared the 58-year tradition unconstitutional because it amounts to a government call for religious action.
Phoenix, Gilbert and Queen Creek municipal buildings will be sites for Christian prayer sessions that include pleas for divine intervention in government. Similar sessions will be outside the state Capitol and on the floors of the House and Senate.
"This is outrageous and unconstitutional and should be challenged. . . . It's contrary to the wise views of Thomas Jefferson," said Chandler attorney Marc Victor, a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which filed the Wisconsin lawsuit.
Others see it differently. Governments "should see churches as
assets, not the enemy," said Queen Creek Pastor Augie Iadiciccio of
In her ruling last month, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote that the government can no more enact laws supporting a day of prayer than it can encourage citizens to fast during Ramadan, attend a synagogue or practice magic.